Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2

The Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 running shoe features the latest iteration of the Nike Air technology, with a really minimalistic approach to the midsole – everything that’s not Nike Air is unnecessary. This approach resulted in an interesting-looking shoe thats design will surely gain a lot of fans and a shoe that needs time in order to become truly comfortable – the Nike Air units need to be broken in, which is something that a lot of runners don’t feel like doing after paying the price in the store. However, once you get acquainted with the Flyknit 2, you’ll find out that there’s more than meets the eye: this is a high-quality, comfortable, cushioned and responsive shoe that will take you wherever you need to go – provided you don’t want to go out of town.

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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Full-length Nike Air cushioning unit midsole
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive
  • High-quality materials
  • Futuristic modern design
  • Great breathability
  • Comfortable once broken in
  • Cons
    • Expensive, unless you’re really into the design
    • Have to be broken in to become comfortable
    • Not for runners with wide feet

      Key Features
      The outsole of the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 features rubber pods that are additionally reinforced on the hardwearing rearfoot and forefoot areas in order to increase durability and protect the peculiar-looking midsole from tearing. The rubber pods ensure good grip and traction, as well as prolong the moment when the wear and tear of this shoe becomes noticeable. These oval-shaped pods of various sizes are spaced apart, which allows the thick sole to flex and follow the natural gait cycle of the foot. On the pod surface, you’ll find small, sharp-looking lugs that prevent slipping and provide the runner with even more traction.
      The brand has decided to take the cushioning of the Air VaporMax Flyknit 2’s midsole to another level. Instead of opting for a foam midsole and a Nike Air cushioning unit beneath the heel, this midsole ditched the foam altogether and put the Nike Air cushioning technology under the full length of the foot. This technology is comprised of individual compressed air units that are there to provide bounce, responsiveness and cushioning with a unique, walking-on-air sensation. This move sounds like a great idea on paper, but some users have expressed their discontent with the brand’s decision to eliminate the foam altogether. An interesting piece of information is the brand’s claim that six recycled plastic bottles are used in every pair of Flyknit 2’s, which will be refreshing to hear for every environmentally conscious runner out there.
      As with a lot of new running shoes, the upper of the Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 is made of a one-piece no-sew Flyknit material that provides the runner with the ultimate breathability, and the absence of stitching and overlays means increased durability of the upper. The traditional 6-hole lacing system is connected to the brand’s signature Flywire cable technology that wraps around the foot providing discreet stability and support while offering a snug, customizable fit. The rearfoot heel reinforcement also adds to the support and stability of this running shoe, and the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) toe cap gives the upper some structure to the forefoot area. On the back, you’ll find a pull-tab which allows for easy on and off of the shoe. The stretchy fabric collar of this model is designed to provide an equally snug fit to the ankle as the rest of the upper provides for the foot.
      Given the chunky sole structure of the Air VaporMax Flyknit 2, a lot of people would assume that it’s a relatively heavy shoe, but at 9oz for a men’s size 9, this is actually quite a lightweight option. It’s not the lightest in the game, but nevertheless, you won’t feel it pulling you down at any moment during your run. This absence of expected weight may be contributed to the thin upper fabric as well as the fact that the Nike Air midsole is largely comprised of, well – air.
      The breathability of the upper really is this running shoe’s forte, and the patented Flyknit material offers great airflow throughout the whole upper area, which prevents overheating, sweating, blisters, and an uncomfortable feeling while on a run.
      With the midsole that looks like it’s guaranteed to offer extreme comfort, most users have complained that the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 isn’t comfortable at all. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye, so let’s unpack the comfort aspect of this running shoe. First of all, you should know that the VaporMax Flyknit 2 runs narrow, despite the fact that it’s supposed to hug the foot and provide a firm grip on it, so our recommendation is to go half a size up when ordering online.

      Secondly: the midsole. A lot of customers felt really disappointed with the comfort of this shoe and even went as far to say it isn’t comfortable at all. However, the truth is that similarly to the Foamposite Pro, the Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 needs time to be broken in before it stops feeling hard on your feet. Yes, at first you will feel a little uncomfortable running in this shoe, due to the fact that the midsole Air units need time to soften up a bit and really adapt to your weight, gait and so on. Once that process is done though, this is a really comfortable shoe to wear. It’s just not something that will sweep you off of your feet the first time you try it on. One piece of advice to amp up the comfort of this she would be to wear very thin socks with it.
      This is undoubtedly a very modern-looking shoe that’s sleek, fashion-forward, eye-catching, stylish and futuristic. The innovative and translucent midsole design makes it look very comfortable and it gives it almost a high street luxurious look. There are a plethora of colorways available for this shoe, ranging from basic colors to the vibrant teals and reds. The Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 is definitely a running shoe and a fashion statement in one, and it isn’t for the faint of heart or people who lack confidence. If we had to describe this running shoe in one word, it would most certainly be: cool. Some would say that it’s too cool and trying too hard, and they wouldn’t be wrong. It all boils down to personal style, as it should.
      Generally speaking, the Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 is a durable shoe made of high-quality materials and with proper care, it will last you for several seasons. There are some aspects of the upper that can be considered to be a soft spot for the shoe and therefore need special attention in order to keep the upper intact. The problem with the Flyknit upper is that it frays easily if it gets caught in a branch or comes in contact with sharper stones, etc. Basically, this means that you should only take this shoe to city runs and make sure it doesn’t come into contact with anything sharp. Also, the air units are separated and create a gap in the midsole in the midfoot area, which could create a weak spot after a while. However, these things are most likely not going to happen if you stick to running in the concrete jungle.
      The midsole air units are meant to protect the foot from impact and dampen the ground beneath the foot, which they do – after the midsole is broken in. Similarly to the comfort ‘issue’, a lot of customers haven’t given the Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 a chance at proving that it is, indeed, a shoe capable of providing protection and comfortable cushioning in one. The toe cap protective TPU compound will shield your toes from some unexpected, milder impacts you might come across while running on pavement, which is a welcome addition to the thin upper fabric.
      Nike’s brave midsole idea gave satisfactory results in the responsiveness category. The large hollow rubber pods and the full-length Nike Air units give a lot of kick-back and bounciness to the strike when wearing the Air VaporMax Flyknit 2. The only downside to the midsole design is that the responsiveness is lowered if the shoe is flexed in half mid-stride, in which case the energy-return isn’t as great as it is with the runners that tend not to bend their foot as much while running.
      The Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 is a running shoe made for runners that don’t require additional arch support, which amounts to around 50% of all runners. The shoe is suited for people with high, medium high or normal arches, and a lot of runners are satisfied with the support the midsole of this futuristic-looking shoe provides. As for the upper support, the Flywire technology will make sure your foot stays in place during the whole run and the Flyknit fabric will provide a snug, stable fit run after run.
      This shoe is made to conquer roads, track, pavements and some light gravel, but nothing more serious than that. Not only would technical terrain be a challenge to the midsole, but it would also endanger the longevity of the upper. As far as the type of run goes, most runners agree that the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 performs best on short and medium-length runs.
      This running shoe is no cheap venture with a steep three-digit number you’re going to have to shell out for them, even if you find a pair on sale. Before you purchase this shoe, our advice is to go to the store and try it on. Because it’s not instantly comfortable, it’s best to know what to expect than being unpleasantly surprised at what you’re delivered after an online purchase. If you like to collect Air sneakers or you like the overall modern vibe the Flyknit 2 gives off, then getting this pair will be a no-brainer. If you’re just looking for a comfy, fool-proof pair of running shoes, you might be better off investing in another model.
      The sharp-looking lugs on the rubber outsole of this running shoe ensure that the pods don’t slip on a flat surface and provide good traction and a grippy ride. You’ll get the best traction out of this shoe if you take it on the track or concrete, where you’ll experience a cushioned ground feel with an outsole that adheres to the surface perfectly.
      The rubber pods containing the Nike Air units are positioned in a way that creates space between each and every pod, in order to allow the sole to adapt to the natural movement of the foot and flex with it. This is especially noticeable at the exact middle of the outsole, which features an intentional gap, positioned there to provide maximum flexibility without compromising the midsole structure. That being said, don’t expect the Flyknit 2 to be the flex winner; in general, EVA foam midsole shoes have much more flexibility that this type of shoe, by definition.
      While the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 is far from a stability shoe, it does feature some stabilizing properties, mainly in the upper with the signature Flywire cable technology and the heel reinforcements on the back of the shoe.
      The heel to toe drop of this running shoe measures a standard 10mm, which slightly favors moderate heel-strikers. Forefoot strikers won’t enjoy this drop for sure, but midfoot strikers might turn a blind eye on the high heel and learn to make the best out of the ride in the VaporMax Flyknit 2.
      Key Features
      ● Rubber pod outsole with reinforced areas
      ● Full-length Nike Air cushioning unit midsole
      ● One-piece no-sew Flyknit upper
      ● Relatively lightweight
      ● Great breathability
      ● Comfortable once broken in
      ● Steep price point
      ● High-quality durable materials
      ● Road, track and treadmill shoe
      ● Limited flexibility
      ● Enticing, colorful design
      ● Good responsiveness
      Bottom Line
      All in all, the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 is a good shoe with a brave, innovative, and ultimately successful midsole design. Those who have wider feet won’t enjoy the upper construction and likely won’t find a size that fits, but other than that, this shoe needs just a little extra time to become very comfy. It’s made out of durable materials that require proper maintenance and use, and it’s surprisingly lightweight and a very breathable shoe. With it, you can expect a solid performance over several seasons and a welcome stylish addition to your sporty closet. The one thing you have to give up in order to enjoy this well-designed running shoe? A lot of cash.
      Where to Buy
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Lizzy Pavlovic
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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